The Thinking Child

Laying the foundations of understanding and competence

By Pamela May

Series Editor: Pamela May

© 2013 – Routledge

106 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415521918
pub: 2013-04-02
US Dollars$34.95
Hardback: 9780415521901
pub: 2013-04-02
US Dollars$160.00

Look Inside e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

What characteristics do children need to become motivated to learn? How do children’s experiences and relationships affect their cognitive development? How do you provide learning experiences that meet the developmental needs of every child in your care?

The Thinking Child thoughtfully discusses the key principles of children’s cognitive and intellectual development alongside descriptions of everyday practice. It clearly explains the cognitive strategies that children use to learn new knowledge, the development of cognitive milestones such as symbolism, memories and the imagination, metacognition and creativity along with research into how the brain processes information.

Throughout the book, the author considers the key characteristics of effective learning and shows how play is one of the primary mechanisms that children use to access new knowledge and to consolidate their emerging ideas and concepts. These characteristics are then applied to integral aspects of early years practice to show how pracitioners can:

  • motivate children to learn new knowledge about themselves and the world around them;
  • help children to develop their own ideas creatively and use this knowledge as a base to learn new things;
  • reflect on their own teaching methods to encourage children’s engagement, motivation and creativity through effective observation and planning;
  • engage with parents and carers to help support children’s learning at home whilst maintaining the values of the family;
  • celebrate the uniqueness of each child and provide learning experiences that are appropriate for individuals with particular learning needs, be they physical, emotional or cognitive to ensure that every child has an equal opportunity to succeed.

Emphasising the importance of understanding the theory that underpins children’s cognitive development, this accessible text shows practitioners how they can use this knowledge to provide learning opportunities that nourish children’s thinking and creative skills.

Table of Contents

1. Setting the Scene; 2. Play, Exploring and Learning; 3. Active Learning; 4. Creating and Thinking Critically; 5. Observing and Assessing Children’s Progress; 6. Partnerships with Parents and Community; 7. Thinking Differently; 8. Thoughtful Organisation; 9. Equipped for Life, Ready for School?

About the Author/Editor

Pamela May is an Early Years Consultant and a former Senior Lecturer in Childhood Studies at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK.

About the Series

Foundations of Child Development

Foundations of Child Development

Series Editor: Pamela May

An understanding of child development is at the heart of good early years practice. The four books in this exciting new series each take a detailed look at a major strand of child development – cognitive, social, physical and emotional – and aim to provide practitioners with the knowledge and understanding they need to plan ways of working with children that are developmentally appropriate. Clearly linking theory to everyday practice they explain why practitioners teach in certain ways and show how they can provide learning experiences that will help children to become competent and enthusiastic learners. Whilst the series allows for an in depth study of each of the four major areas of development individually, it also demonstrates that they are, in reality, intertwined and indivisible.

Titles in this series:

The Thinking Child: Laying the foundations of understanding and competence

Pamela May

The Growing Child: Laying the foundations of active learning and physical health

Clair Stevens

The Social Child: Laying the foundations of relationships and language

Toni Buchan

The Feeling Child: Laying the foundations of confidence and resilience

Maria Robinson

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Psychology
EDUCATION / Preschool & Kindergarten